Boris tube line delay ‘electioneering’

By politics.co.uk staff

Boris Johnson has been accused of electioneering after he delayed the reopening of the East London Line.

The opening after a £1 billion extension was supposed to take place on Thursday, but has now been put back to next week.

The Mayor’s office says it is “business as usual” and Transport for London (TfL) cited “operational reasons” but opposition parties were not so sure.

“Boris Johnson is in chaos over his stunt to hold an official event using taxpayers’ resources during an election campaign,” said Labour’s leader on the London Assembly, Len Duvall.

“He’s been trying to take credit for a project delivered with £1bn of investment under a Labour government and a Labour mayor.”

A spokesperson for Mr Johnson said: “Under the pre-election guidance the GLA and TfL are expected to conduct business as usual.

“This is the long-awaited opening of a railway that will benefit 100,000 Londoners daily and certain publicity is required to make the trial of the new services effective.

“The guidance provides that it is appropriate to mark this opening with a non-political event.”

But the Liberal Democrats are also up in arms over the move, with Peter Hendy, chief executive of the Greater London Authority, receiving a letter of complaint from the party.

The row comes on the same day that transport secretary Andrew Adonis attacked shadow communities minister Justine Greening for her seeming lack of commitment to Crossrail.

“The Tories’ supposed commitment to Crossrail lasted just two days. Now Justine Greening has exposed the weasel words in the Tory manifesto for what they are,” he said.

“This sends an alarming message to business in and around the capital, to Londoners, and also calls into question the extent of their commitment to all other infrastructure projects, including high speed rail.”

In an outspoken interview with the Evening Standard yesterday, Ms Greening admitted she had lobbied George Osborne about the network but could not offer a commitment to it.